DIY Coffin-Building Workshop Reviving Dying Art Of Casket-Making

by Carla Howarth, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

A coffin-making community group has popped up in Tasmania’s northwest, allowing people to make their caskets dirt cheap.

The Community Coffin Club meets once a week where mentors help people make coffins for themselves and their family. Sheree Whittington has been working on her coffin for the past month. “I’ve always had a bit of a morbid side to me and loved the Addams family and that sort of thing,” [She’s going to use it as a CD and DVD rack [until needed for its final purpose]. It’s an actual piece of furniture.”

Caskets can cost thousands of dollars to buy, but at the Coffin Club, members only need to supply their own materials. Russell Game is a club mentor but he is also making a coffin for himself. “It’s so much cheaper than buying a coffin,” he said. “I don’t know what the funeral directors think about it, but we can make them for probably a tenth of the cost.” When Mr. Game’s is finished, his casket will have cost less than $200 to make. “This is actually going to be a bookcase, so it’ll be in my lounge room. When I cough it [sic] or someone I know wants it, I’ll just put the two pieces together. I think it’s a good idea for people to think about end of life and it’s a nice thing to do, it’s fun.”

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